When I was ill, and before I was diagnosed with a functional neurological disorder, I tried acupuncture to desensitise my nervous system and speed my recovery.
At the first appointment, I ventured in with trepidation. I don’t like injections or blood tests and have to look away to ensure I don’t faint so I really wasn’t sure how I would feel being used as a pin cushion. I was pleased to find myself cocooned in comforting and uplifting aromatherapy scents. After giving my medical history and explaining what I hoped the acupuncture would do, I nervously let the needles be put in. Some of them hurt, but not for long. Others hummed with energy or felt hot. Inevitably because of my FND, they made my nervous system jump, and my torso or limbs would twitch in response. After one was put somewhere in my chest, I burst into tears and felt the need to sob my eyes out. It was overwhelming. I can only describe it as a great unlocking of emotion that I had unknowingly been physically holding onto.
I made it home in a daze, all the way from Victoria, heading east to South Quays on the Tube. I was exhausted for 24 hours, feeling a great sense of relief. The appointments gradually got more manageable and helped dampen my nervous system. Being in a heavenly-scented treatment room introduced me to aromatherapy. It’s such a lovely way to influence your mood or perk yourself up.
Years later, needles helped me to conceive. Or maybe I would have anyway, but it certainly happened quickly, with me falling pregnant within two months of trying.
I still have acupuncture now, every 6-12 weeks or so. Often, I have a back treatment combined with a massage, to alleviate headaches and tension from sitting at a desk all day. I also have the option to have a balancing treatment, to dampen my nervous system. A needle in between the eyes can be powerful, zonking me out for the rest of the day.
Over the last twelve years, I’ve had three brilliant practitioners and one who just didn’t work for me. After two or three sessions I couldn’t feel the benefits of her treatments. Like any treatment, you need to find the right person.
There is much to be recommended about acupuncture, on top of the potential medium to long-term health benefits. It feels super relaxing once the needles are in, which admittedly can be a bit ouch. Any regular, supportive treatment sessions make me feel like I’m not addressing health problems on my own and that there is someone in my corner.
I’d love to know if you have tried it, and if you have found it useful?